When you first realize that you are in a SHTF scenario, it can be mind-blowing. You fear for your life and the lives of your family. Even with the best training, survival can be a daunting task. However, there are things you can do to give yourself the best odds of surviving and protecting your family. Remember the differences between yourself and everybody else around you, and you will realize that you are already way ahead of the game. In this article, we will cover the first 60 minutes and the actions you should immediately take to get out alive.
It is important to note that the most important task for your first 60 minutes is always to avoid panic. Keeping a cool head so often make the difference between life and death. The human body allows for so many more mistakes with the adrenaline is flowing. Keep yourself calm, make rational decisions, and keep everybody in your group calm as well.
I am not saying that you need to become a conspiracy theorist. However, keeping an eye out for the threats that affect your area is important. Pay attention to any government or military actions. Watch for any reports regarding diseases or pandemics. Pay attention to social unrest or riots in your area. Look for any weather or seismic warnings. You may even want to pay attention to the domestic and foreign markets for potential collapse. These are all warning signs of large-scale disasters that could affect your area. The point of this strategy is that by staying aware of these concerns, you can find out hours or even days before the general public. This head start can be huge for your family while everybody else is walking around unaware of the threat.
Anything you can do in advance to prepare for SHTF scenarios is going to make a huge difference in your ability to survive. Of course, you cannot prepare for the event after it is already happening. You must have supplies set aside and have a plan with your family to get to safety. This plan should be practiced as much as possible so that the whole family knows what to do. In fact, you should have several different plans depending on the type of emergency and the severity.
If you have any family or friends as part of your survival plan, you must get everybody together before you can make a move. You may have both mom and dad at work, kids at school or daycare, or even extended family to gather. There is no reason that you should not have everybody together within 60 minutes if you have the right plan. For example, my wife works about 20 minutes from our home and I work from home. My son is under 15 minutes from our home at daycare, but the distance would add another 15 minutes to my wife’s drive. Our plan is for me to pick up our son and meet back at our house about 5 minutes after my wife arrives. Travel time from start to home is roughly 25 minutes for the whole family. Then we can take further action.
If the majority of your family is more than 30 minutes from your home, you should have a plan to meet at a secondary location. If I worked downtown roughly 30 minutes north, I would switch our plan to meet at my son’s daycare. We would then decide if we need to leave one of our vehicles behind to better handle traffic. You also want to have a location like this in case somebody from your group is cut off by gridlock or a military road block. All adults need to be prepared to ditch their vehicle and move on foot if needed.
Once you gather together, you must quickly make a few vital decisions. You should be thinking about your options well before you get to your family so that you can have a short conversation. If you are meeting outside of your home, decide if you need to go home before making a move. It may be best to take what you have and leave the area immediately. If you decide to head home, you need to decide if you want to bug in or bug out. This may be subject to change as you get more information on your way home. Traffic, weather, phone calls, and radio announcements may all change your plan on a dime. You may also want to call any family or friends that are not part of your survival plan to warn them about the scenario and get more information.
If you plan to bug in, there are a few tasks that should be handled immediately. Windows and doors should be secured. Inventory for food, water, ammunition, and other vital products should be checked. This may include batteries, lighters, medical supplies, and toiletries. The inventory ensures that you are not surprised when you run out of a certain product. If you feel it is needed and you think you have time, you can make a fast run to a store to supplement your supplies. This should only be done if you have no other choice.
If you decide to bug out, get your bug out bags together. Gather as much food and water as you can comfortably carry. Grab any weapons you need and prepare to head out. You may want to board doors and windows to keep damage from looters to a minimum. You should also hide any valuables that are too bulky to carry with you. You will need to decide whether to bug out on foot or in a vehicle. If the roads are clear, the vehicle will help you cover more ground. However, if the roads are backed up or blocked then you need to be on foot.
If you have planned in advance, prepared for these scenarios, and taken the right action then 60 minutes is plenty of time. If we do not have any blocked roads to deal with, there is no doubt in my mind that my family could be bugged in or bugged out within an hour. In addition, I am confident that I would recognize a SHTF situation well before the average person. This all adds to our ability to make it through safely. If you take action, stay calm, and follow these steps then you should come out safely as well.